Chicago Cubs

Johnny Cueto

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Reds 5, Nationals 0: Johnny Cueto has submitted his resume to the other 29 teams, nailed the interview and now awaits offers. Or at least the Reds do, and they’re likely going to get a nice haul for him. A complete game two-hit shutout with 11 strikeouts and not a care in the world that his opponent was Max Scherzer. Joey Votto didn’t much care that he was facing Scherzer either, as he went 3-for-5 with a double, homer and three driven in. Neither Votto nor Cueto was selected for the All-Star team, by the way.

Pirates 3, Padres 2: A couple of Pirates, including Gregory Polanco got a save here. As in helping save a groundscrew member who was being swallowed up by the tarp during a third inning rain delay:

Later an even better highlight: Justin Upton stone-cold robbing Andrew McCutchen of what would’ve been a go-ahead homer in the fifth:

 

The Pirates got the win anyway, again with help from Polanco, who hit a go-ahead triple in the eighth.

Royals 9, Rays 5Royals 7, Rays 1: The walkoff grand slam by Paulo Orlando in the first game was only soured a tad for the Royals in that it came against Brad Boxberger, who Royals manager Ned Yost had just added to the All-Star team the day before. Maybe rethinking the omission of Corey Kluber is in order? Eh, maybe not. In the second game it was the Alex Gordon show, as he drove in four on a 4-for-5 night. The Royals are now four and a half up in the Central, tied for the biggest division lead in all of baseball with the Cardinals.

Cubs 7, Cardinals 4Cubs 5, Cardinals 3: The Cardinals’ lead was reduced thanks to dropping both ends of this twin bill. Jake Arrieta held their bats at bay and Anthony Rizzo homered. Worse: Kolten Wong went out with a head contusion. Addison Russell helped lead a comeback in the nightcap, giving the Cubs the first doubleheader sweep of the Cardinals since 1992. Note: the Addison Russell hit in that comeback was REALLY controversial. More on that later.

Athletics 4, Yankees 3: Bad day for All-Star relievers, eh? Here Brett Lawrie homered off Dellin Betances in extras. Not that Lawrie dominated the night — he struck out thrice and was behind in the count to Betances, almost to the Golden Sombrero — but he certainly made up for it. Oakland has strangely owned the Yankees of late, having won 12 of their last 15 meetings.

Red Sox 4, Marlins 3: The Sox came from behind with a three-run seventh, with all of those runs coming off the bat of Xander Bogaerts, who cleared the bases with a single. Wade Miley struck out nine.

Indians 2, Astros 0: Corey Kluber: not an All-Star, but he did shut down one of the scariest lineups in the American League, tossing shutout ball into the seventh. Michael Brantley was 3-for-4 with a homer.

Diamondbacks 4, Rangers 2: Robbie Ray took a shutout into the eighth inning, outdueling Yovani Gallardo, whose long-playing scoreless innings streak ended at 33 and a third.

Blue Jays 2, White Sox 1: Felix Doubront started this one, his first start since last year. It went well: six and two-thirds innings, one earned run and six strikeouts. Josh Donaldson’s fourth inning homer was the eventual game-winner, as the Jays played a rare low-scoring game.

Braves 4, Brewers 3: Manny Banuelos put up his second nice start to begin his major league career, allowing one run in five and a third. This after his debut in which he pitched five and two-thirds shutout innings against the Nats. A.J. Pierzynski homered and had three hits in all. Pierzynski is hitting .289 on the year and has an OPS of .778. I never would’ve guessed he’d be that solid, but he’s been a solid pickup for Atlanta.

Twins 8, Orioles 3: Miguel Sano hit his first career homer — a two-run shot — and walked with the bases loaded. He has hit safely in all six games since he was called up. This has been an absolutely nuts year for great young players being called up.

Angels 10, Rockies 2: Four homers from the Angels’ bats: Albert Pujols, Mike Trout, Matt Joyce and Chris Iannetta. The Angels have won four straight, scoring 43 runs in those games. It’s almost as if playing the Rangers in Texas and the Rockies in Colorado is good for offense.

Mariners 7, Tigers 6: Robinson Cano with a walkoff single in the bottom of the 11th. Cano also hit a solo homer. The Tigers had their chances in the 10th and 11th innings, having the go-ahead run at third both times, but couldn’t deliver.

Phillies 7, Dodgers 2: Chad Billingsley faced his old mates in Dodger Stadium and notched his first win in over two years. A nice story after the dude had two elbow surgeries. Not a lot of guys could come back from that. The Phillies beat up Brett Anderson a bit, who didn’t look completely right after slipping on the mound early on, but he apparently didn’t hurt himself or anything. Maybe it was my imagination.

Giants 3, Mets 0: Hunter Pence comes back and just like that the Giants’ seven-game losing streak ended. Pence made a sweet sliding catch to turn a double play and drove in two runs on a single and a fielder’s choice. Matt Cain tossed six shutout innings.

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

Brian Dozier
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Twins 4, Orioles 2: Brian Dozier wasn’t selected for the All-Star team because the format we have no encourages managers to treat it like some cross between Little League in which everyone must be represented and some form of awful FutureBall in which every team has 20 or so relievers hanging around because people, the theory goes, would rather see relievers instead of genuine ballplayers who do things like slug .500 in the first half. Well, he showed them by hitting a two-run walkoff homer in the 10th. And he’ll show them more when he goes to Cabo or someplace better than Cincinnati next week with his days off.

White Sox 4, Blue Jays 2: Chris Sale’s 10 strikeout streak came to an end — he only punched out six — but that’s OK. He just needed to relax, all right? And not try to strike everybody out. Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they’re fascist. He needed to throw some ground balls – it’s more democratic. Besides, by not striking everyone out he went the distance in this one.

Pirates 2, Padres 1: Pedro Alvarez hit a walkoff RBI single. Which is fun because the opposing manager, Pat Murphy, is his father in law. Which is exactly the plot of that Pauley Shore movie. You know the one: “BioDome.” I dunno, maybe “Son-in-Law” is closer to all of this, but I’m the wrong guy to ask. If that’s on I just mute it and watch Carla Gugino’s scenes.

Reds 3, Nationals 2: Reds shortstop Eugenio Suarez went 3 for 4 with two RBI including a tiebreaking homer. Suarez is batting .329 with three homers and 13 RBI in 21 games while filling in for the injured Zack Cosart. Otherwise a boring game it seems, at least from the box score, but it’s Cueto vs. Scherzer tonight making that seem like the game to watch.

Astros 9, Indians 4: The Astros offense just doing its Astros offense thing: Preston Tucker had four hits and an RBI. Jose Altuve, extended his hitting streak to 14-games with two hits, including an RBI double. Marwin Gonzalez homered and drove in two runs. Colby Rasmus drove in two. All of this despite facing Carlos Carrasco, who came a strike away from a no-hitter in his last outing.

Cardinals 6, Cubs 0: John Lackey tossed seven shutout innings, but you figure he’s going to be fined for giving up a hit to Jon Lester. It was Lester’s first hit in 67 career at bats. Came on a 95 m.p.h. fastball too:

Sure, it would’ve likely been an out or a fielder’s choice or whatever had it not hit Jon Lackey’s foot, but it still counts, man.

Braves 5, Brewers 3: Matt Wisler allowed three runs and seven hits while pitching into the sixth inning to help end the Brewers’ eight-game winning streak. Seven of those eight wins came against the Reds and Phillies so it wasn’t a Winning Streak For The Ages, but still. Bad scene in this one: a woman sitting behind the dugout was hit with a foul ball and taken out on a stretcher. More netting, Major League Baseball. Please, more netting.

Tigers 12, Mariners 5: The Tigers’ pitching may be a grease fire, but their offense is doing just fine. Nineteen hits here, including four from Victor Martinez and four from J.D. Martinez, who also drove in four runs. That made Hisashi Iwakuma’s first game back since late April less-than-fun. The Mariners starter gave up five runs on eight hits before turning it over to the pen, which didn’t fare much better.

Dodgers 10, Phillies 7: A four-hour and thirteen minute nine inning game which involved blown leads and bad pitching. It’s the Dodgers and Phillies wanted to party like it was 1999. Jimmy Rollins 2-for-4 and drove in the go-ahead runs in his first game against the Phillies since being traded away last December.

Mets 3, Giants 0: The Giants have lost seven in a row now, this one coming against Jon Niese, who tossed eight shutout innings. It was scoreless until the ninth when Johnny Monell, who had eight plate appearances for the Giants two years ago, hit a two-run double.

Rays vs. Royals: POSTPONED: Nothin’ lasts forever
And we both know hearts can change
And it’s hard to hold a candle
In the cold November rain

Video: Jon Lester collects first MLB hit after going 0-for-66 to begin career

CHICAGO, IL - JULY 06: Jon Lester #34 of the Chicago Cubs is congratulated after his first career hit in the Major League against the St. Louis Cardinals during the second inning at Wrigley Field on July 6, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
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After beginning his career with an MLB record 0-for-66 (0-for-71 if you include the postseason) hitless streak, Cubs left-hander Jon Lester finally got off the schneid tonight against the Cardinals. Here’s the video proof:

It wasn’t the prettiest, but it counts in the box score. By the way, Lester has more hits tonight (one) than he has allowed (none) through five innings. Stay tuned.

UPDATE: Lester gave up his first hit with one out in the seventh inning. So much for that.

Pitchers and reserves for 2015 MLB All-Star Game announced

All-Star Logo
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After the starters for the 2015 MLB All-Star Game were unveiled on Sunday, the pitchers and reserves were announced tonight on the Esurance All-Star Selection Show on ESPN. The 2015 MLB All-Star Game will take place at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati on Tuesday, July 14.

National League

Reserves

Andrew McCutchen OF, Pirates – will start in place of the injured Giancarlo Stanton
Kris Bryant  3B/OF, Cubs – replaces Stanton on roster
Joc Pederson OF, Dodgers
Adrian Gonzalez 1B, Dodgers
Nolan Arenado 3B, Rockies
Brandon Crawford SS, Giants
Yadier Molina C, Cardinals
Yasmani Grandal C, Dodgers
Anthony Rizzo 1B, Cubs
D.J. LeMahieu 2B, Rockies
Joe Panik 2B, Giants
A.J. Pollock OF, Diamondbacks
Justin Upton OF, Padres

Pitchers

Max Scherzer SP, Nationals
Zack Greinke SP, Dodgers
Gerrit Cole SP, Pirates
Madison Bumgarner SP, Giants
Michael Wacha SP, Cardinals
Jacob deGrom SP, Mets
Shelby Miller SP, Braves
A.J. Burnett SP, Pirates
Trevor Rosenthal RP, Cardinals
Aroldis Chapman RP, Reds
Mark Melancon RP, Pirates
Jonathan Papelbon RP, Phillies
Francisco Rodriguez RP, Brewers

American League

Reserves

Albert Pujols 1B, Angels – Will start in place of the injured Miguel Cabrera
Manny Machado 3B, Orioles
Adam Jones OF, Orioles
Prince Fielder DH, Rangers
Jose Bautista OF, Blue Jays
Russell Martin C, Blue Jays
Jason Kipnis 2B, Indians
Stephen Vogt C, Athletics
Brock Holt INF/OF, Red Sox
Mark Teixeira 1B, Yankees
Jose Iglesias SS, Tigers
J.D. Martinez OF, Tigers

Pitchers

Chris Sale SP, White Sox
Dallas Keuchel SP, Astros
Sonny Gray SP, Athletics
Felix Hernandez SP, Mariners
David Price SP, Tigers
Chris Archer SP, Rays
Dellin Betances RP, Yankees
Brad Boxberger RP, Rays
Zach Britton RP, Orioles
Wade Davis RP, Royals
Kelvin Herrera RP, Royals
Darren O’Day RP, Orioles
Glen Perkins RP, Twins

And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

Justin Verlander
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Blue Jays 10, Tigers 5: I was in Detroit over the weekend and interviewed Justin Verlander on Saturday for an upcoming story I’m writing. Part of that conversation focused on what sorts of adjustments he plans to make as he ages, how he expects to change and maybe rely on secondary pitches more as his velocity decreases, etc. Short version: he doesn’t plan to change and still thinks he can do everything he could do several years ago. I mean, he wasn’t a jerk about it, but he more or less said that he sees no reason to make adjustments now.

The fastballs he tried to throw by Jays’ hitters in pitchers’ counts that they bashed the hell out of yesterday say something different.

Cardinals 3, Padres 1: Rookie Tommy Pham homered, doubled and drove in three in his third big league game. That has to be a stage name, right? Like his agent is some vaudeville veteran and has this thing about shortening names that are perceived as “too ethnic” because the houses in the sticks won’t book his acts? “Look, Tommy. I know you and the rest of the Phamtonestovich family are very proud of all of your accomplishments, but BELIEVE ME, you’ll want to be “Tommy Pham” when you play Peoria!”

Rockies 6, Diamondbacks 4: De La Rosa beat De La Rosa in this one. Nice outing for De La Rosa. Tough break for De La Rosa, however. Troy Tulowitzki hit a three-run homer. Off of De La Rosa, natch. After the game De La Rosa said he pitched well. De La Rosa, however, admitted he had some stuff to work on.

Rays 8, Yankees 1: The Rays end a seven-game losing streak, with Erasmo Ramirez’s only blemish coming on an A-Rod homer. That notwithstanding he pitched six innings of three-hit, one run ball. Ramirez is 7-2 with a 2.17 ERA since joining the rotation on May 14.

Brewers 6, Reds 1: And eight-game winning streak for Milwaukee, including all seven games of their road trip. Taylor Jungmann allowed one run on four hits in eight innings. They’re only two games behind the Reds for Not Last in the NL Central.

Red Sox 5, Astros 4: Hanley Ramirez hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the seventh. Ryan Hanigan and Pablo Sandoval each had three hits for the Sox, who have won three straight series.

Phillies 4, Braves 0: Philly snaps a six-game losing streak by breaking through with a four-run tenth inning. Nick Masset allowed most of the damage via loading the bases and having his replacements allow inherited runners to score. Dana Eveland allowed one of those inherited runners across. Then after the game both were designated for assignment. Tough day at the office.

Pirates 5, Indians 3: The Indians scored three times off Gerrit Cole early but then he buckled down and retired the last 16 men he faced to win his league-leading 12th game. Andrew McCutchen hit a tiebreaking double in a five-run fifth.

Orioles 9, White Sox 1: Adam Jones had two doubles, Steve Pearce had three hits and Jonathan Schoop hit a homer in his first at bat since mid-April as the Orioles avoid the sweep. The White Sox made four errors on the day.

Royals 3, Twins 2: Eric Hosmer doubled in Lorenzo Cain for the walkoff win. The Twins weren’t without highlights, however, as Ervin Santana came back from his 80-game drug suspension and went eight innings striking out eight.

Cubs 2, Marlins 0: The Cubs aren’t scoring runs but are still winning thanks to a nice streak from their starters. The latest nice outing: Kyle Hendricks shutting out the Marlins for seven and a third, allowing five hits, one walk and striking out six.

Mariners 2, Athletics 1: Rookie Mike Montgomery’s streak of 20 consecutive scoreless innings ended on a Sam Fuld homer, but he was cool all the same, going five and two-thirds and getting his fourth win. The Mariners turned double plays in three consecutive innings.

Mets 8, Dodgers 0: Steven Matz looked great again, pitching six scoreless innings and striking out eight. Wilmer Flores went 4-for-5 and drove in three. The Mets took two of three in this series, which many were figuring would be a disaster following their awful homestand. I guess they just needed some California sun.

Angels 12, Rangers 6: Earlier this season when the Rangers were looking surprisingly frisky I and many others observed that the pitching wasn’t likely to hold up. Guess it’s ceasing to hold up now, as the Angels outscored the Rangers 33-8 in the three-game sweep. Albert Pujols hit his 25th homer while Kole Calhoun homered and drove in four.

Nationals 3, Giants 1: A three-game sweep in Washington, where the Nats have won nine straight. The Giants played the Sunday night game then had to fly back to California with no day off today. Sunday Night Baseball is dumb. UPDATE: Just learned that the Giants stayed the night in DC and then are flying back to San Francisco this morning. I can’t decide if that’s better or worse.